Tragedy in New York, star runner Ryan Shay dies at 28

3 11 2007

Very sad news from the U.S. Men’s Olympic Trials today, in case you hadn’t heard. From the AP:

NEW YORK — Top distance runner Ryan Shay died during the U.S. men’s Olympic marathon trials Saturday, overshadowing what was supposed to be a showcase day for the sport.

Shay collapsed about 5½ miles into the race and was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m., New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said. He was 28.

“It cuts a knife through everybody’s hearts,” said Wittenberg, whose group organized the race.

Shay was the 2003 U.S. marathon champion. Absolutely heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to his family.

His death cast a shadow over the day’s proceedings, including the incredible accomplishment of three young American runners.

Ryan Hall, who had never run a marathon before April, won in a trials record time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 2 seconds. Dathan Ritzenhein followed in 2:11:07 and Brian Sell was third in 2:11:40.

They’re all going to Beijing to represent the U.S. in the marathon. Meb Keflezighi, the reigning silver medallist from Athens, won’t be there. He finished eighth. Neither will Khalid Khannouchi, the 35-year-old former world-record-holder. He was fourth.

The young guns made them take a back seat. Will the 25-year-old Hall, 24-year-old Ritzenhein or 29-year-old Sell come through in China? Can’t wait to see.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is the big show — the NYC Marathon. Can’t believe it’s been a whole year since last year’s debut of Sir Lance-a-lot (of pain, that is).

Some YouTube-age to get you psyched:

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2 responses

3 11 2007
Yumke

Yes, it was both a sad day to hear about Ryan’s death. Also a spectacular run in Central Park! I would love to do New York one day. Must remember to enter the lottery.

4 11 2007
Lee

I was going to respond with a joke about qualifying for NY, but then I looked up the times and they weren’t completely insane. OK, the 2:50 for under 39s is ridiculous, but 3:05 for 40+ … that’s fairly mortal isn’t it?

Who am I kidding? Lottery it is…

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